Mon, Dec 9, 2019

Monday is an important day in the Major League Baseball offseason. The deadline to tender a contract to non-salaried players under team control comes at 8:00 p.m. ET. As such, expect most of the news and rumors to revolve around this, whether it be non-tender candidates traded, teams re-upping with players who were thought to be vulnerable or free agency getting a few new names. R.J. Anderson looked at eight possible non-tender candidates last week

Now let’s get to Monday’s rumors.

Red Sox to tender JBJ

Boston center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was one of the most prominent names thought to be a non-tender candidate, but it appears he’s going to stay put for the time being. He’s being tendered a contract by the Red Sox, per Alex Speier of the Boston Globe

Now, take note that I said “for the time being,” because it’s still possible the Red Sox could trade Bradley. 

The move is interesting, to say the least. Bradley, 29, is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to make $11 million in 2020, his final season before hitting free agency. The Red Sox are pretty well known to be looking to shed salary, as they are right now projected to be at $227.2 million in opening day payroll and that’s without any offseason additions. 

Bradley hit .225/.317/.421 (90 OPS+) with 28 doubles, 21 homers, 62 RBI, 69 runs and eight steals with a 2.0 WAR last season. 

White Sox sign McCann to one-year deal

The Chicago White Sox and All-Star catcher James McCann avoided arbitration with a one-year, $5.4 million deal, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports. In 2019, his first season with the White Sox, McCann hit .273/.328/.460 with an OPS of .789 to go along with 26 doubles, a career-high 18 home runs and 60 RBI in 118 games. McCann, 29, will be a free agent after the 2020 season. The White Sox also signed All-Star catcher Yasmani Grandal this offseason.

Padres acquire Profar

The Padres have reportedly traded for Jurickson Profar, likely to be their everyday second baseman in 2020. Full story here.

Red Sox trade Sandy Leon to Indians

The Indians have announced that they have acquired catcher Sandy Leon from the Red Sox for minor-league pitcher Adenys Bautista. 

Leon, 30, is in his last year of arbitration and was an obvious non-tender candidate. He hit .192/.251/.297 in 191 plate appearances last season. He’s a good defensive catcher, generally speaking, but has been awful at the plate the last few seasons. 

Bautista is a lottery ticket. He’s 21 and hasn’t pitched above Rookie Ball. At that level, he’s appeared in seven games, working 5 1/3 innings with a 10.13 ERA and 2.25 WHIP. 

Braves to non-tender Culberson

The Braves are going to cut ties with infielder Charlie Culberson, reports Robert Murray of The Athletic. Culberson, 30, hit .259/.294/.437 with five homers and 20 RBI in 144 plate appearances last season. He’ll find work somewhere as a utility bench player, with the ability to work at several different defensive positions, though he’s not really great at any of them. He’s only one year removed from the best season of his career, when he hit .270/.326/.466 with 12 homers in 322 plate appearances in 2018. 

Marlins claim Aguilar

The Miami Marlins claimed first baseman Jesus Aguilar, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The Rays designated Aguilar for assignment on Wednesday. Last season, Aguilar, 29, didn’t match his impressive 2018 All-Star campaign where he hit 35 home runs. With the Brewers and Rays in 2019, Aguilar hit just .236/.325/.389 with 12 home runs. Despite the regression, the first baseman still has a good opportunity to make the Marlins’ 2020 Opening Day roster. Garrett Cooper (.281/.344/.446) is likely to be Aguilar’s biggest competition for the starting job with prospect Lewin Diaz also in the mix.

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